Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump Calls For Ban On Transgender People In The Military: I May Be OK With That

   My initial inclination was to be against this decision, but about one minute after reading the story, I started thinking it might be more complicated than I initially thought.
   I tend to think that everybody pretty much ought to be able to look however they want. I don't see how we can legitimately demand that men can't wear dresses. Apparently there was a time at which, at least among the upper classes, women weren't to wear pants...and that was eventually recognized to be dumb.
   My only beefs with the PC theory of transgenderism are that (a) it's false, (b) it's deeply philosophically confused, (c) it's scientifically unproven (I's false, for one thing...), and (d) it's being forced onto society by extremist/activist hectoring and deception. The theory is bad, and must be rejected. That doesn't mean that men should be punished for adopting a feminine appearance, nor that women should be punished for adopting a masculine one.
   People must be left free to live their lives as they see fit--consistent with similar freedoms for others, of course. I'm even willing to consider desegregation of public restrooms, locker rooms, and sports...though I'm skeptical.

   However, I think that discussions of such massive social change have to be conducted freely, openly, and at least minimally rationally. Currently, the left is trying to force through social changes that we haven't really discussed, they're doing so by forcing upon us a false theory of transgenderism, and they're doing that e.g. by stifling opposition with false accusations of prejudice, pretending that activist-academicians have genuine expertise about this matter, and skewing research.
   I'm wondering whether what we need here is a kind of time out--at least until objective research is being done on the subject again-which will, however, take a lot longer than six months. (There was some objective psychological research on transgenderism before it became a cause celebre...e.g. by Blanchard and Bailey...but it didn't come out the way transgender activists wanted it to, so they were vilified and it was suppressed (see: Dreger, Galileo's Middle Finger).)
   This would also be a way to strike back against leftist attempts to bully and trick society into doing what they want--the message would (or could) be something like: so long as you're pushing falsehoods and distorting research, we refuse to adopt your preferred policies. Once you stop that, and we can have an informed and rational discussion, then we'll take up the topic again. 
   A pipe dream, I know.
   Furthermore, so long as we're basically operating according to a basically insane theory to the effect that some men are actually women (and vice-versa) because of subjective feelings and/or swapping social roles and/or changing appearance, I suppose, now that I think of it, I'm a bit concerned about the kind of people we might be letting in to the military.  I don't have any problem with people bucking tradition with respect to appearance. However, a man who honestly believes himself to be a woman (or vice-versa) probably (contrary to the PC theory) does have mental problems. Note that this is a way in which the PC theory of transgenderism hurts their cause. If they'd stick to the facts, the question of sanity wouldn't arise.
   Finally, I have become skeptical of hyperspeed social change. Back when we were an obviously unjust society with respect to race and sex, that was one thing. Now, the questions are less clear. I do realize that justice delayed is justice denied...but without due deliberation, we don't know what policy is just.
   And I say this all despite believing that, in a future and more rational version of society, people won't care nearly as much about how people dress and so forth. But I'm skeptical about making policy that is informed by magical theories about changing sex with the wave of a word. So, I suppose I'm actually now thinking that this decision may very well be a good one...
   OTOH, the abject irrationality and illiberalism of political correctness and transgender activism have really begun to piss me off, and so it's hard to be sure that I'm not falling into the error of just taking sides in a cultural I'm wary of my reaction, especially since it's somewhat at odds with my long-standing thinking on the subject.

[Ehhh...I'm even less sure of this argument now.]


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